People-to-People Development

In addition to long-term staff and consultant experts, ACDI/VOCA utilizes high-quality, short-term U.S. volunteer specialists.

From Albania to Zimbabwe, ACDI/VOCA has completed over 11,000 volunteer assignments in more than 130 countries since 1971. ACDI/VOCA is a leading implementer of the respected USAID Farmer-to-Farmer program.

"When we use volunteers, we get more than expert technical assistance. Volunteers build lasting relationships with our beneficiaries, and are ambassadors for this country."

—Diana Roach, Senior Director of Volunteer Programs

Mid-career Professionals Share Expertise Overseas

Approximately 250-300 volunteers serve each year on ACDI/VOCA assignments. ACDI/VOCA draws from a volunteer database containing more than 13,000 agriculture, business, finance, and community development experts who are typically accomplished mid-career professionals.

Our volunteers, who generally serve for 2-4 weeks, are an integral component of long-term programming and complement macro-level initiatives. Many conduct repeat assignments. In 2012 ACDI/VOCA launched our Service Learning Corps program, which connects graduate students to support our overseas development programs.

Volunteer Experts Make Development Efforts Go Further

Our volunteers undertake their assignments largely funded by USAID with expertise, energy and goodwill and are extremely cost-effective. Since 1997, volunteers have donated approximately $36 million worth of their valuable professional time to ACDI/VOCA and its government sponsors.

Volunteers provide more than their time and expertise. Their people-to-people approach demonstrates personal concern for the people they help and they inject a can-do spirit where there is much to be done.

"Volunteers, by the very nature of their generosity, desire to give back, and with their sheer dedication to our work, they make it an honor to work with them."

—Diana Roach, Senior Director of Volunteer Programs

Lasting Connections

Volunteers also bring back an appreciation for other cultures and plant seeds for long-term international cooperation. They develop an appreciation that foreign aid is both an honest effort to help and a win-win solution for the United States.

In many cases, their service results in an awareness of markets or even expanded business opportunities for their companies as well as for the people they assist overseas.

Learn more about ACDI/VOCA's volunteer opportunities.

Learn more about our volunteer program.

Support our work through the VOCA Fund.

Infographic: Volunteers strengthen communities at all levels.


Volunteers Add Value in Global Development: How Your Organization Can Benefit (PDF, 1.24 MB)

ACDI/VOCA Volunteers: People-to-People International Development (PDF, 1.77 MB)

Volunteers: Building Knowledge and Bridges for Success Under Donor-Sponsored Development Programs (PDF, 1.75 MB)